44. Sri Koteeswarar Temple, Thirukottaiyur, Kumbakonam (Chola Nadu - North of Kaveri):Names of God : Sri Kodeeswarar
Name of Goddess : Sri Kanthuga Greedambal, Sri Bandhadu Nayagi
Holy water (Theertham) : Amudhakinaru (a well).
Sacred Tree (Sthala Vriksham) : Vilvam (Bael Tree).
Thevaram : Thirunavukarasar
District : Thanjavur.
Location : Kumbakonam.
Timings : 06:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and from 03:00 p.m. to 08:30 p.m.
For Complete List of 275 Shiva Temples : Click HereThis is the 44th sthalam on the northern side of river Cauvery. Appar has sung hymns in praise of Lord shiva of this temple. A 60 feet high five tiered gopuram adorns the entrace of this temple with 2 prakarams. An image of Manu needhi Cholan's episode is seen near the 2nd gopuram as in Tiruvarur.There is a separate vimanam for Somaskandar here.
The Navagrahas are beautifully designed with their respective vahanas-vehicles. They are too enticing to look at. Only a few temples in Tamilnadu have such Navagraha (9 planets) shrines.
Panguni Uthiram in March-April, Tiruvadhirai in Margazhi (December-January), Shivrathri in February-March, Arrow festival in Purattasi (September-October) are the important festivals celebrated in the temple.
History / Legend:This is a sacred place offering good progress in education. Sage Markandeya worshiped the Lord here. The Shivalinga was found under castor nuts (nut in Tamil means Kottai), hence named Kottayur. Lord gave darshan to Sage Badri Yogi in 10 million Vinayaka form, 10 million Mother-Goddesses form, 10 Million Lord Muruga form – 10 million – one crore). Hence, the Lord is known as Koteeswarar. The nut symbols are visible on the Linga.
Mother Goddess Pandhadu Nayaki (Goddess playing with a ball) is so named as she is tossing a ball under Her feet, indicating that she would toss the sufferings of Her devotees as that of a ball. Sports men and women worship the Goddess to win games and medals. Spilling the water of the holy spring – Amudhakinaru – ensures not only external purity but purifies the mind too, the belief goes. The spring ensures good education and good traits to the devotee.
There was a proverb that those placing their feet in Kottayur will become Kattai (dead) meaning that sinners cannot enter this place. If they do so, their sins multiply to a crore. The benefits of good deeds also would multiply in crores. As many wicked people were afraid to come to the temple, it is said that Goddess Pandhadu Nayaki assured them protection by tossing their sins as a ball and reform them. Now, many people come here with the obvious aim of seeking the pardon of the Goddess for what they did in the past and lead a righteous life.
Satyarathi was the ruler of Tirihartha kingdom. His son Suruchi incurred a curse and was disfigured as a devil. Anyone seeing him began to run away. He wanted to attract all those who hated his appearance and worshiped Lord Shiva to get back his handsome face. He was advised to go to Kottaiyur and have a bath in the holy spring. He regained his handsomeness still better. Mainly, women follow this ritual to become beautiful.
Location: Located 3 Kms from Kumbakonam. Town bus facilities from Kumbakonam are available.
Temple Address & Contact Details:Arulmighu Kodeeswarar Temple
Mela Kaveri Post
Phone: 0435 - 245 4421.